We do have some suggestions on viable replacements

Whether you liked the first season of The Grand Tour or not, there’s no denying that the motoring show brought out plenty of discussions and comparisons to the old Top Gear. One such debate centered around the two shows’ race drivers, namely The Stig and his US-born cousin, The American. Proving that a copycat can’t compare to the OG, a lot of critics panned the latter’s involvement in the show and among those people included Mike Skinner himself, the former NASCAR racer who played The American. Well, it turns out there’s more to the criticism than meets the eye because Skinner has announced that he won’t be part of the second season of The Grand Tour, creating another layer of intrigue surrounding the returning motoring show.

In a series of tweets, Skinner explained that he wasn’t happy with how his character was portrayed on the show, saying that his character wasn’t developed as he was told. It’s unclear exactly what kind of character development The American was supposed to have, although Skinner did hint that it could’ve at least been more rounded than the rough-around-the-edges portrayal of the driver in season 1. “If you’re gonna wear Evil Knievel’s firesuit, you need to be Evil Flipping Knievel,” he tweeted. Skinner did follow that up with another tweet saying that he “enjoyed some of the cars” he got to drive and that he “didn’t really hate the brits.” Regardless of his misgivings about his portrayal in the first season, it’s at least clear now that The American won’t be back for the second season of the Grand Tour. As far as who’s going to take that seat for the second season, well, we have a few ideas…

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Guy Martin

Despite being known more as a motorcycle racer, Guy Martin would be perfect in this role. If you’ve ever caught any of his shows, you know that the man is made for TV. His personality shines when he’s in front of the camera, and he’s very believable when he starts talking about cars, trucks, and motorbikes. He’d even be the perfect foil for Clarkson, whose hatred for anything that has two wheels in it is well-documented. Martin may not be that big of a name in America, but rest assured for those who aren’t familiar to the guy, it’s not going to take long for you to warm up to him. Martin’s an ace presenter on TV, a celebrated racer, and an all-around funny guy to boot.

Tanner Foust

I know that the second season of The Grand Tour will have a one-location studio segment and it was established in the first season that all the official test drives will be done at the former airbase RAF Wroughton. But, if the show wants to bring an American to replace The American, why not get someone who also happens to have ties to Top Gear? Tanner Foust would be that guy, and he’d be a great addition to the team. For one, he fits the bill as a professional race driver. He’s also very personable, has a following in the US, and was also one of the hosts of the old Top Gear USA. Imagine the kind of banter he can have with Clarkson and company, especially when the conversations delve into their former employers.

Rowan Atkinson

It may be too late in the game for Rowan Atkinson to have this gig, but man, oh man, the potential for comedy with this choice would be through the roof. He may be best known for his role as Mr. Bean, but Atkinson knows his way behind the wheel of a car, so there’s no reason to think that he wouldn’t be able to handle some of today’s newest and fastest exotics. Having Atkinson in the fold would also help generate mainstream interest in the show. Not that it needs it considering how many people tuned in to the first season, but if it did want a jolt in publicity, an Atkinson sighting as a test driver would be a good place to start.

Deadpool

Don’t laugh. I actually want to see this happen, even though I’m completely aware that it’s never going to with all the legal loopholes that need to be jumped before we even get to sniff the possibilities. But man, the Merc with a Mouth would make for a great test driver on The Grand Tour. It doesn’t even have to be Ryan Reynolds inside the costume; it could be a racing driver that can handle his way around a track while talking enough to live up to the blabber-mouth reputation of Deadpool. Since its Amazon, maybe it can even throw out a few cuss words or two aimed at Clarkson and the boys. All in good fun, though.

The Ben Collins

The obvious choice, though not without its share of legal rope-jumping. A reunion between Collins, who famously donned The Stig suit before getting fired by the BBC for publicly revealing that he was, in fact, The Stig, and the old hosts of Top Gear is the perfect way for The Grand Tour to effectively shove it up its old employers’ you-know-whats. Nobody will need to worry about Collins’ skills in this type of environment, and in a roundabout kind of way, his revelation actually garnered him more notoriety in the auto world. We’ve even seen glimpses of what his return to the fold would look like, thanks to a teaser segment released by Amazon last year to promote the first season of The Grand Tour. As fun as the other choices I had, the best one would be The Ben Collins, provided, of course, that BBC doesn’t get in the way of making it happen.

References

GQ Talks Shop With The Boys From The Grand Tour: Video
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Source: Twitter - MSTheGunslinger

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